Maholm sharp as Braves beat Nationals

VIERA, Fla. — Paul Maholm allowed two hits over five scoreless innings and the visiting Braves scored six runs in the sixth inning for a 7-2 victory over the Washington Nationals on Monday.

Four of the runs were charged to Stephen Strasburg, who had blanked the Braves through five innings. Justin Upton had a two-run single off Strasburg and Ernesto Mejia added a two-run double off reliever Zach Duke.

Maholm struck out five and walked one in his fourth spring start, lowering his ERA to 3.38.

Anthony Varvaro allowed one hit and struck out two in a scoreless sixth to pick up the victory. Cory Gearrin pitched the seventh and struck out three around a hit to keep his ERA at 0.00.

B.J. Upton was 2-for-3 and drove in a run for the Braves, raising his average to .405. Blake DeWitt had a single and double, driving in two runs.

The Nationals’ runs came in the last two innings, with Tyler Moore homering off Aaron Northcraft in the ninth.

The Braves (9-9) return to Champion Stadium on Tuesday to host the St. Louis Cardinals at 1:05 p.m. Julio Teheran is scheduled to pitch for the Braves against Jake Westbrook.